On Friday, 16th of December, parents and schoolchildren in Arganda del Rey, a town South-East off the city of Madrid and with a growing population, were demonstrating to demand a long-promised bilingual secondary (or high) school.
Since one of the participants is part of the Poppies’ Collaborative Group and Poppies stands for the quality of public education, I am going to explain what the situation is, why they are demanding this bilingual secondary school, what they are doing and what you can do to help.
The situation up to now
- There are 9 Primary Schools in Arganda.
- Three of them are bilingual, with one of them just starting the bilingual programme.
- In another of those three, 88 students will complete their 6th year of Primary Education for the first time this year.
- There’s a fourth bilingual school from another little village nearby which also comes to Arganda for Secondary Education.
- There are 4 Secondary (or High) schools in the town and only one of them is bilingual.
- There’s hardly any room as it is in those Secondary schools since the ratio per class is over 30.
- Last year, in February, local Eastern Madrid newspapers published various articles stating that the Education Council from Madrid Autonomous Region had agreed to build a new high school.
Why Arganda is demanding a second bilingual secondary school.
- This year, in October, at the School Town Council, parents find out that building a new high school is no longer in the cards.
- Apparently, the plans are to place those 88 students in the one bilingual high school in town, which is already overcrowded, by building an “aulario” (i.e. a set of classrooms).
- This, we consider a solution for the current problems: classes with a high student ratio.
- Moreover, that “aulario” was a commitment for this academic year, but they haven’t even started building it yet.
- It certainly does not solve the problems stated under “The situation up to now“.
What the education stakeholders are doing
Madrid’s government (PP) says Arganda hasn’t offered the right place.
Arganda’s government (PSOE) says they have.
In the meantime, parents and school children are demonstrating…
And they plan to carry on.